Cork City have confirmed they have accepted a bid for Manchester United, Arsenal and Tottenham target Brian Lenihan, with Championship outfit Brighton & Hove Albion the club believed to be closing in on the defensive starlet.
The Daily Star reports how the Republic of Ireland U21 international has attracted widespread interest in the Premier League, but it appears the talented youngster is ready to snub the advances of England's elite in favour of an opportunity to play regular football in the second tier.
Sami Hyypia's Seagulls look to have seen off competition from a host of rival suitors, and are hoping to unveil the 20-year-old before the transfer window closes on September 1.
"Cork City Football Club can confirm that the club has received an offer for our player, Brian Lenihan, which has been accepted," read the statement on Thursday.
The news that Brighton are set to secure Lenihan's signature comes as a quite a surprise, particularly when you consider the calibre of clubs reportedly courting the player.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sent scouts over to Ireland to watch the right-back in action on numerous occasions last season, and had seriously considered an offer to take him to the Emirates Stadium.
Man United interest
Manchester United's interested in the versatile star began long before the arrival of Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. But, given the Dutchman's tendency to play a 3-5-2 formation with the use of wing-backs, Lenihan still seemed like a viable option for the Red Devils, considering his ability to play at centre-back and on the right side of defence.
Tottenham are among a number of mid-level Premier League clubs - along with Everton and Aston Villa - that have also been credited with an interest in Lenihan's services, but Mauricio Pochettino looks set to miss out on the chance of luring the player to White Hart Lane as well, with Brighton seemingly the chosen destination for the Irishman.
Attention from the likes of Manchester United, Arsenal and Spurs is not a fabricated rumour without substantiation, given the fact that Cork City manager John Caulfield previously confirmed that each of those clubs had been keeping a close eye on the player.
However, it looks as though the people around him have got Lenihan's best interests at heart, and realise that the chance to play regularly on the south coast with Brighton will be best for his continued development.
A big money move to one of the Premier League's elite might be a realistic possibility in the future, but first the young defender will have to prove he has what it takes to succeed across the channel.
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